Even as daily infections hit a six-week high, Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Saturday that Covid-19 limits must be relaxed to help the country’s economic recovery.
“States must maintain their composure and continue on with their work. And don’t get too worked up about the Omicron variety “In Melbourne, Frydenberg warned journalists.
With approximately 90% of people over the age of 16 fully immunise, Australia is one of the world’s most vaccinated nations. Despite this, Australia reported 1,753 COVID-19 instances in the last 24 hours, an increase of around 3% over the previous week and the highest daily total since October 29.
State and territory officials must ease restrictions imposed to slow the virus’s spread, Frydenberg said, stressing the need of accelerating Australia’s economic growth while downplaying concerns about the Omicron form.
“It is vital for our economic revival. We now have record-high vaccination rates, which has shown to be a critical defence against Covid.”
While certain restrictions have relaxed as vaccines have become more widely available, interstate travel between multiple states remains forbidden, and store and restaurant capacity limitations are carefully enforced.
Lockdowns in the country’s two largest states hurt Australia’s $2 trillion ($1.4 trillion) economy, with GDP contracting 1.9 percent in the third quarter.
Economists and policymakers anticipate a dramatic comeback in Australia’s economy in 2022, when the country reopens its international borders, boosting tourism and the education sector.
Last month, Australia announced that international visa holders would not be permitted to enter until at least the middle of December. On Saturday, Frydenberg stated that a decision on reopening would be taken in the coming days.